Summer Rejuvenation Therapy : Amrakalpa

Amrakalpa :

Amrakalpa is the seasonal Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy especially for summers. The therapy is simple and is based on structured diet of ripe mangoes only.

Medicinal properties of Mango

Properly ripened mango is vatahar (balances vata), increases muscles, potency and strength. These are the very qualities that we need in the food for a summer rejuvenation therapy.†††

Why Amrakalpa?

State of Dosha : Vata get accumulated , pitta is stabilized, and kapha is normal.

In summer, there is more heat in the external environment, so the body changes the internal heat to kinetic energy in order to maintain a balance. Therefore there are less chemical reactions; less digestive juices are made, less hunger, less food intake and therefore less digestion, which helps to prevent extra heat generation through digestion. Instead there is more water intake and the glands like sweat glands are working faster across the surface of the skin. Skin is the largest organ and it adjusts the excess kinetic energy to continuously sweat and maintain the temperature all over the body. The inertia of this cooling mechanism is the accumulation of Vata.

Please refer to below link for effects of summer on body :

Effect of Ritu (seasons) on Dosha

Dosha and Body State in Seasons

Body strength, immunity and digestive power are low and body is in mode of heat riddance. The blood vessels stay dilated, sweat glands work over time to produce the cooling effect by evaporation of sweat.

The major role of Amrakalpa is in prevention of accumulation of excess vata in the body. Apart from it, it prevents toxin generation due to heavy meals, keeps the body well hydrated, cleanse the inner layer of intestine, allows a holiday to liver from removing digestive waste. Liver thus can focus on deeper cleaning of blood.

Vata accumulated during summers causes diseases in the rainy season. If it is balanced by amrakalpa in the summers, the seasonal disorders of the rainy season can be completely prevented.

Appropriate Time

Summer starts from lunar months of Jyestha (22 may – 21 jun  and Ashana (22 jun -22 Jul). The two Sankranti in this duration are Mithuna (14 jun) and Karka Sankranti (16 jul). Vasant Grishma sandhikal is from approx. 14th may to 14th jun.

Ritu Calender

Sandhikal is joining period of two seasons and the time when body is most vulnerable to diseases because of changing weather and corresponding shift in body metabolism.

Sandhikal

Sandhikal Calender

The rejuvenation therapy should be started ideally after the primary sandhikal (1st  and 2nd  weeks of the season), i.e from 14th may to 14th Jun.

This the time for availability of the best fruits of the season as well.

Phases

Amrakalpa has 3 phases – Ascending , following and descending. Ascending and descending  phases should be same in order to prevent any dietary jolt to the body.

Ascending Phase

In the ascending phase, the regular diet is gradually replaced by the fruit diet. First the dinner(if any; Go Dinnerless !) should be replaced completely by mangoes, then the lunch and finally the breakfast.

While changing a meal, ideally it should not be changed completely in one day. For example, while changing the breakfast, the mango should be taken as 1/4 part of the meal on the first day, 1/3 part on the second day, 1/2 part of the meal on the 3rd day and full mango meal on the fourth day. Idea is to give ample time to stomach to adjust to the diet change. This transition should be complete in the ascending phase of Amrakalpa.

Following Phase

Following phase should consist of only mango diet in all meals.

Descending Phase

Descending phase transition should start with the breakfast. You should start taking light meals (corn flakes and milk, roti etc.). Descending phase is more critical than the ascending phase because the intestine has gotten used to very soft, pulpy food. Also because of low digestion pressure, it was able to discard its hard dead cell lining or waste material sticking to it. It is now purified. But sudden exposure of heavy, spicy food to it, after the following phase will lead to complications like dysentery. Therefore start the descending phase by replacing the dinner first. After dinner, lunch and breakfast should be changed respectively.

Please find the different possible  durations of Amrakalpa according to individual convenience.

Here is a diet chart reflecting indicative dietary changes during Amrakalpa

Amrakalpa Dietary Change

Duration

Amrakalpa ideal duration is 31 days. Dividing it in 3 phases, ascending phase should contain 10 days, following phase 11 days and descending phase 10 days.

If you want to shorten the amrakalpa therapy , first cut down on the following phase to a minimum of 1 day. Therefore the total duration would be ascending – 10, following -1 , descending – 10 days. For further reduction in duration, first cut down on the ascending phase and then descending phase consecutively, because descending phase is more important than ascending phase.

Amrakalpa below one week will not be very effective; however it can be tried with no harm.

Amrakalpa Duration

Precautions

It is very important that the oils and spices are used in minuscule quantity during the descending phase as the mucus lining of the intestine is cleared and it is like that of a baby after the following phase. Use of spices and oil will irritate the bowels and might lead to dysentery.

During observance of Amrakalpa, the person should not be subjected to extreme heat or cold, hard work, excessive sweating, excessive exposure to sun or wind, stress , sorrow, drinking alcohol or sex for ideal results. One should stay indoors in air conditioned environment.

Amrakalpa is supposed to strengthen the body, so why so many restrictions during following it ? it is because during any kind of kaya kalpa (rejuvenation therapy) the body is in transformation state. It is like a newly made wet earthen pot, even a little scratch will make a permanent mark on it. Therefore, for best results, body should be well guarded from external damaging factors.

Best Wishes !

Go Dinnerless !

Eating late at night is so common now-a-days that almost 90% of families must be eating around 9.00 pm, mostly without much hunger. Late dinner at night causes majority of lifestyle problems including indigestion which is the root cause of all other diseases.

You are the king of your body. Suppose you are the king of a country and you order the royal cook at midnight, to cook a seven course meal. The royal cook will dare not disobey you, but will he be able to work with the his best efficiency the next morning? no ! He will be too tired. This happens when you eat heavy food late night.

After the sun sets, the night hormone sets to work, gradually slowing the metabolism in preparation of sleep. When we eat food late in the night, the resulting surge in the sugar level, reverses the effects of the sleep hormone and reactivates the slowed metabolism. Also it taxes the sleepy digestive system for overtime work of dinner digestion.

How do you feel when you are about to leave the office in evening and you are given another bunch of files to finish before you leave? This is what happens to stomach when you eat food after sunset.

Esp. people with insomnia should avoid late night dinners.

If , being the king, you ask the royal cook for a 7 course meal in the middle of preparation for the next course(ongoing digestion), the next course will show the lack of attention. This happens when you eat while the digestion of earlier meal is not complete. It hinders the digestion of earlier meal and under digested food produces toxins.

Some people eat just for the sake of taste or satisfaction. It taxes your digestive system and creates mayhem in the process of digestion. A lot of undigested food keeps getting mixed with the food already under digestion. It is like a guest in a restaurant, ordering a new dish every 5 minutes to the same chef, before the earlier order is prepared.

After completion of digestion and before next attack of hunger, there is a certain time for cleaning and repair. If you order the royal cook to make a elaborate dish, when he in the middle of maintenance and repair. He will cook the dish, but the maintenance work will suffer. Such piled up maintenance work eventually accelerates the process of aging.

Let’s get back to the office example. Once you are used to getting extra work before leaving the office in the evening, you would try to steal some free time in the morning working hours, because anyways even if you work in the morning, the work will not finish by the evening, so when will you find time to cater to your other responsibilities? Your will be working with divided attention. This is what happens to people who always eat late night. They will face lack of hunger, indigestion because energy of stomach is diverted in urgent maintenance and repair as well at the time of digestion, because it is not allowed a separate free time for it. Such people feel lethargic and lack vitality throughout the day. They tend to get tired very soon.

Most importantly, one should not eat without hunger. When you’re earning as much is required, the expenses are almost equal to earnings. But when you start earning more than required, your bank balance will swell. Unfortunately, same thing happens with the extra calories you earn when you eat food without hunger or in excess to hunger. Your tummy swells with the extra fat you earn. At night, because of slow metabolism, the fat or sugar released by digestion is not utilized properly and therefore is converted to fatty tissue and stored in the waist, hips or thighs primarily, resulting in weight gain.

On the other hand, if you go dinnerless you are offering a holiday to your digestive system, to relax, detoxify, repair and get revitalized. Everyone works more efficiently with more holidays. The process of digestion will improve; it will be faster and produce lesser or no toxins. Same rule applies for eating without hunger.

First few weeks, it might feel uncomfortable and you might wake up hungry in the middle of night. But the body will adjust soon to the new healthier routine. Replace the late night dinner with a glass of milk with health supplements, to ensure proper nutrition as well.

Fasting on light food like fruits and milk for a day is like a long weekend for digestive system and it works wonders for the overall health. Liver is allowed time to detoxify blood from toxins other than the ones continuously produced during digestion. This should be observed ones a week for best results.

So be a generous king, treat your body gently and with respect. Otherwise you are bound to face the rebellion of diseases !